Back in August, I came up with 18 reasons why Thunderbird was better than Outlook Express, which are, in summary:
- Junk Mail filtering
- Better message filtering
- Not full of security bugs
- HTML Sanitization
- Sanitization for Junk Mail
- Cross platform
- Text Zooming
- Automatic folder compression
- Three-pane vertical layout
- Customisable start page
- On-screen alerts
- Message labelling
- Graphical emoticons
- Doesn’t get hijacked
Now, in that article I was referring to Thunderbird 0.1, and since 0.6 is on the horizon I’ve come up with 5 more reasons that you should switch.
- Message Truncation – fed up of downloading 150KB virus-infected emails? Enable message truncation, which allows you to download only the first, say, 50KB of a message. If you want the whole thing, fine, click a link. Otherwise you can delete the message without it hogging your connection.
- IMAP IDLE support – a new feature for 0.6, this allows for better performance from IMAP servers that support it.
- Threaded message checking – I only noticed this after I had to use OE for something today. OE checks accounts one after the other – if the first mail server is slow, then you have to wait for it before checking other accounts. Thunderbird checks them concurrently, so one slow server doesn’t affect your other accounts.
- Edit as new – allows you to edit existing emails as if they were new ones. I can’t believe OE doesn’t have this feature as I’ve used it so often. Nor can I believe I didn’t put it in my original list.
- Ability to associate multiple addresses with an account – this is still a backend feature with no UI as yet, but it’s possible to have multiple email addresses associate with one account. I have my Scrapie email forwarded to my Bradford email account, yet I can reply as if the account was separate. Let’s hope that a UI appears for this soon.
I could also throw in that it’s open source but I don’t really think that is all that advantagous to the end-user. Still, I’ve never looked back on my decision to dump OE – possibly the only feature missing from Thunderbird is Hotmail support and there are already several third-party programs that will get around that.